Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Debra Welkley

Second Advisor

Evelyn Thomas


As physicians-in-training transition from medical school to residency, they must quickly adapt to new environments, systems, and roles in the clinical education setting. Many are tasked with teaching and evaluating their near-peer medical students as early as the first day of residency training, yet they are often uninformed on teaching practices and assessment strategies. This basic qualitative study explored first-year medical resident perceptions of the influence of evaluating medical students on their transition from medical student to first-year resident. Nine first-year internal medicine residents participated in this study through semi-structured individual interviews. Four themes emerged from the data: 1) feeling responsible for the growth of third-year medical students, 2) concerns about the impact of subjective grades and evaluations, 3) unpreparedness to evaluate medical students, and 4) preparedness for the first year of residency. Through data analysis, the themes informed the following findings: first-year residents are uncertain if they should evaluate medical students, first-year residents prefer the role of near-peer mentor over evaluator, first-year residents are unprepared to evaluate medical students, first-year residents learn how to evaluate through social constructivism (Vygotsky, 1978), a supportive environment eases the transition to residency, and the first year of residency requires on-the-job learning. The results of this study suggest changes can be made in medical education to better support the learning environment and experiences for first-year medical residents.


Ed.D. Dissertation

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